How to Flip Land in Colorado?

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How to Flip Land in Colorado?

Bart Waldon

As the population in Colorado continues growing quickly, especially across suburbs and rural towns, we've noticed increasing interest in land investments. Savvy folks are purchasing vacant plots or farmlands near expanding neighborhoods before reselling them to eager homebuilders and developers for big profits. It's a strategy we’ve seen produce impressive returns if executed correctly.

After checking some surveys, it looks like the average per-acre price jumped over 11% last year, hitting about $1,490 statewide. In this article, we’ll share some practical tips we’ve learned for identifying promising parcels, budgeting smartly, pricing accurately and closing profitable land flips even as an amateur investor. While the concept sounds simple - buy land, improve land, sell land higher - doing it right takes some guidance.

This comprehensive guide explores techniques for identifying promising land parcels, estimating costs/value, marketing listings effectively and negotiating smooth transactions with buyers. Follow the tips below to successfully target, purchase and resell properties for sizable returns in Colorado’s flourishing real estate scene.

Identifying Plots with High Flip Potential

Not all vacant land offers similar value or realistic resale prospects. Thus, the first step involves homing in on specific plots poised to yield returns once improved and resold. Ideally target parcels that meet the following criteria:

Zoning Classification and Local Growth Patterns 

Before purchasing any property, research how it is currently zoned as well as any relevant state, county or city land-use statutes that apply in the area. The parcel’s designated zoning and development regulations will determine what future uses are permitted on-site once you own it.

For instance, land zoned for agricultural or commercial uses often allows for far broader range of uses than properties limited to residential buildings. Identify sites where current zoning aligns well with visible emerging development patterns in the surrounding neighborhoods. Areas shifting away from rural or agricultural uses toward more residential building present prime opportunities.

Access, Views, Lot Shape and Boundaries 

While zoning represents perhaps the most pivotal factor, also consider each property’s accessibility, geographic features, terrain and boundaries when evaluating flip potential.

In terms of access, roadway frontage and proximity to existing streets and highways drives interest from future buyers. Lots offering direct access to established roads require far less pre-sale improvement than landlocked sites. Geographic aspects like elevated vistas, streams, shorelines or forests also boost desirability dramatically. Gentle, buildable topography is preferable over extremely sloped sites as well.

Additionally, regular lot shapes and clearly delineated boundaries indicated by fences or markings are more appealing to end-buyers than irregularly shaped sites where property lines remain unclear.

Vegetation Cover and Existing Infrastructure 

Finally, utilize satellite imagery and topographical maps to gauge on-site vegetation and analyze proximity to surrounding infrastructure assets. Lands dotted with mature trees often increase perceived value over barren sites lacking natural visual appeal.

Similarly, parcels located within reasonable distance of electrical lines, natural gas pipes, communications towers or public sewer access possess innate advantages over remote properties lacking basic infrastructure. Buyers typically must pay high costs out-of-pocket to bring utilities and core infrastructure to landlocked rural sites. Thus improved, accessible parcels generate far broader buyer pools.

Estimating Improvement Costs and Setting Ask Prices

After identifying well-positioned sites to target, shift focus toward projecting expenses associated with short-term land ownership along with accurately pricing land for resale. Even over holding periods of one to two years, properties incur taxes, access fees and maintenance carrying costs owners must budget for.

Research annual property tax rates in the county where your prospective parcel lies along with typical land access charges levied by local municipalities. Account for projected cost increases when making purchase offers to ensure positive margins. If storage sheds, fencing/gates, gravel driveways or vegetation clearing become necessary before reselling, factor these improvement expenses into your number projections as well.

To guide asking price benchmarks, pull comparable land listings in nearby neighborhoods to gauge prevailing market rates per acre. Adjust these figures based on location advantages or drawbacks as well as terrain grade, infrastructure availability and roadway frontage length. Build additional upside cushion into prices as well by forecasting value growth over your ownership period. Price just below top market rates to allow room for buyers to negotiate while still capturing healthy returns on investment through the process.

Marketing Land Listings Effectively

Once you own a promising parcel, implementing an assertive marketing campaign represents the next imperative step toward driving interest among prospective end-buyers. To boost visibility, create an eye-catching listing in Multiple Listing Services (MLS) databases using vivid descriptions and quality photos of the property and surrounding natural assets. List copy should highlight development possibilities, potential home footprints and accessibility advantages like roadway frontage.

Additionally, advertise listings through leading real estate aggregate sites like Zillow, and Trulia to expand visibility among home buyers scouring for land online. Strategically placed social media ads provide another channel for targeting would-be investors digitally.

To further spur excitement, consider creating artistic renderings of what future homes or buildings may look like once built on the site. Display these visuals prominently in both online and print ads to help prospective purchasers envision development possibilities.

Negotiating Smooth Transactions with Buyers

As interest arises, respond to inquiries promptly and educate prospective land buyers thoroughly on zoning codes, utility access, drainage and survey results. Transparency builds trust and credibility. Also clarify anticipated steps and costs involved in obtaining building permits or environmental clearances necessary before larger projects.

When buyers extend initial offers, keep asking prices slightly above true targets. This builds in buffer room to negotiate downward toward your goal sale valuation. Remain calm and stick near your set price thresholds when countering undervalued bids. Reiterate key amenities and advantages driving the value proposition to reinforce why the asset warrants higher pricing.

Move decisively when receiving fair market offers. Do not delay or hem-and-haw negotiating minor details at the risk of losing serious buyers. Hold out for figures producing acceptable returns based on purchase prices and improvement costs. Once terms align with targets, move resolutely toward closing and fund transfers to complete profitable land flips!

With the proper due diligence, pricing tactics and sales execution, Colorado's booming frontier offers tremendous room for growth and success for enterprising land investors. Use the pointers and insights above to flip properties profitably even in highly coveted markets across the Centennial State.

Final Thoughts

Colorado presents prime opportunities for land investors as population and housing demand accelerate across the state's suburbs and rural communities. However, accurately assessing parcel potential, navigating zoning codes, pricing appropriately and marketing effectively take skills that novice flippers often lack. By leveraging the tips in this guide, investors can build expertise around identifying promising land deals, budgeting improvement costs, creating compelling listings and negotiating smooth sales to facilitate consistent success flipping properties in both up-and-coming areas as well as more mature markets across Colorado.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land parcels make the best candidates for flipping in Colorado?

Undeveloped rural acreage or farmland near expanding metro area suburbs offers some of the greatest flip potential as rezoning cases surge. Parcels along major highway corridors also prove promising.

How much should I budget for improvements to get a plot ready to resell? 

Typical costs range from $3,000 - $5,000 per acre depending on roadway access existence, vegetation clearing needs and desired gate/fencing upgrades. If no utilities infrastructure borders sites, improvement budgets may need to jump as high as $15,000 per acre.

What resources can help me estimate the current market value for land parcels? 

Local MLS listings provide pricing comps for recent land sales of comparable acreage and grade. Also consult updated county appraisal data, recent auction sale figures and listings on Zillow and

Should I consider additional expenses like taxes, closing costs and liens when making offers?

Absolutely. Budget for property taxes, ownership transfer fees estimated around 3-4% of the purchase amount and any outstanding tax or mechanics liens attached to titles which require payment in full at closing.

What creative listing techniques can help my parcel standout to prospective buyers? 

Attention-grabbing visuals like architectural renderings of future home builds paired with videos showcasing parcel features and nearby community amenities help listings gain traction. Concise, benefits-focused copy also helps buyers instantly connect emotionally with properties.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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